Pain management is the number one reason Americans seek medical care. According to the National Institute of Health, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
Figures released by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2006 indicate that one in every four Americans, or 76.2 million people, have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours. Millions more reportedly suffer from acute pain.
Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, chronic pain impacts 20 percent of Americans. It can often be difficult to treat and, for this reason, is a major contributor to health care costs.
People take a variety of approaches to treating and managing pain, depending on the length and severity of symptoms. Over the counter medications like those containing acetaminophen reduce pain by inhibiting brain activity. Similarly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce pain by decreasing inflammation which is a major cause of pain. There are also a number of prescription medications, including opioids, which are more powerful and work by blocking pain signals.
Each of these treatment methods carries its own set of risks and side effects.
Acetaminophen use is associated with increased rates of death, heart attack, stomach bleeding, and kidney failure.
Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs other than aspirin has been linked to heart attack and stroke. And cities and towns around the globe have seen the harmful effects of opioids which are highly addictive.
That’s why many are turning toward alternative forms of pain management, including cannabidiol.
Often produced in water or oil form, CBD is derived from the cannabis plant.
Unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain psychotropic effects. It has been used to treat a variety of health conditions and research suggests it is especially effective in reducing pain.